Considerate to a Fault

July 31, 2011
By Eileen Chang BRONZE, Potomac, Maryland
Eileen Chang BRONZE, Potomac, Maryland
2 articles 4 photos 1 comment

She arrived home tired and pained.
“I used to be so much better; I used to be so much more capable than this,” she quietly mumbled to herself. Her trenchant character deepened the hurt.
Growing up, she grew an indelible habit of overbearingly caring about what others thought about her. Overtime, this habit became so controlling that one day she carefully traced back the origins of this vexing problem. After much inquiry, she finally concluded that this troubling characteristic of hers developed after a traumatic childhood incident.
She could very well remember the heavy smell of the pet store, which she quickly disregarded out of the ebullient excitement every child feels when entering one. However, being a steadfast animal lover, her energy was thus quadrupled. As if she did not have enough time to thoroughly venerate each animal, she ran ungainly but swiftly across the store aisles. Then, distracted by the chirping parakeets while still maintaining her accelerated pace, she unwittingly ran hard into a little girl about three fourths of her size. Both girls fell immediately to the ground. When the older one forcefully brought herself up, her eyes met a family of scrutinizing eyes. The litter girl was sitting on the ground crying.
“What are you doing just standing there?! Help her up!” the little girl’s mother ordered contemptuously.
“Oh. I’m so sorry,” the older girl said while helping the little girl up.
“Did you even say sorry?” the father asked sternly.
“Yes, I did,” she tremulously whispered.
“Well, I didn’t hear you!” he almost yelled.
“I’m sorry,” she said, lowering her eyes in fear.
After giving one last scornful look to the older girl, the family focused their attention to the little one, who was still sniffing through tears. The older girl, still thawing from an icy fear, watched as the family’s disgusted faces evolved into deeply worried faces.
“Are you okay, sweetie?” the mother asked gently.
“Oh no! Look at you, your arm is bruised,” the father said sympathetically as he lifted her up into his arms.
As she examined this transformation, the older girl felt extremely at fault. She felt not only as if she had seriously injured someone, but also as if she had caused a great disturbance to a family that had every right to ridicule her for what she had caused. As she sullenly walked out of the store, she taught herself that she must not let her own excitement get in the way of others. She did not want to disturb anyone anymore nor be looked upon contemptuously for her faults ever again.
After that day, her sight and hearing grew keen as a result of always being on the lookout for a scornful look or a whisper clandestinely said about her. She became very good at reading people, thus she always knew immediately whether a person liked her or disliked her. When she found someone that did not like her, no matter how stupid the reason for that was, she became uneasy, depressed, and troubled. Always afraid of creating a bad impression, she kept quiet most of the time and expected people to tacitly understand her.
In contrast, her attitude toward her family was completely different. Because family was family, and they loved her no matter what, she took out her restrained impatience out on them. Most frequently, she became nonsensically annoyed whenever one of her family members did something to cause another to look upon them disdainfully. Consequently, she was always good to people she knew little of and bad to the people she should be the most considerate towards.
When she came home from lacrosse practice, she played a series of flashbacks in her head. She saw the scornful looks she abhors so much, heard her teammates ordering her what to do, and heard people whispering things about her. She hated it so much, so much, that she took out her anger on her mother, who did not do anything at all. Despite the fact that her mother was the only one who would take her side in any circumstance, she always treated her with the least discretion. What troubled her most was that she knew how much of a horrible person she was to her mother. She just could not help it. Her mother was the only one who would not scrutinize her for something she did. She had to take out her concealed emotions on someone. Just to be sane.

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